It is usualy maked using fish because it cooks so quickly and is something a little different, but if you prefer you can use boneless, skinless chicken, for Chicken Tikka Masala instead (tenderloins are particularly good).

Note: For Chicken tikka masala replace the fish with chicken:


  • 500-600g fairly firm fish (such as tarakihi, monkfish, warehou)
  • 1/4 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Fish tikka masala1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 400g can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


Step 1

Fish tikka masala

Fish tikka masala

Cut the fish (or chicken) into cubes or chunks 2-3cm thick, then place in a plastic bag with the yoghurt, first measure of honey, lemon juice and garlic.

Massage the bag so the fish is evenly coated with the marinade mixture. Set fish aside while you turn the grill on to heat and make the sauce.

Step 2 – The Sauce:

To make the sauce, place the whole spices in a large dry pan and heat until they smell toasted and fragrant.

Transfer to a blender (or mortar and pestle) and grind, then add the next seven ingredients and process again until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan and heat to boiling, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently while you cook the fish.

Step 3

Arrange the fish pieces on a lightly oiled, foil covered try, then grill about 5cm from the heat, for 5 minutes. (If using chicken cook for 3 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 3 minutes until the thickest pieces are cooked through.)

Add the garam masala and coriander to the sauce, stir to mix, then gently add the grilled fish (or chicken) and simmer for 2-3 minutes longer.

Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and transfer to a serving dish or dishes. Top with the fish mixture and serve accompanied with naan (found in the frozen foods section of larger supermarkets) or other Indian breads (poppadams etc).

Step 4 – Cooking rice:

It is sometimes easy to overlook giving instructions for cooking the basics, which certainly includes rice. Here are our two favourite methods: we regard the microwave as the definitive “no fail” set-and-forget method, but of course boiling works well too.

For enough rice for four generous servings measure 11/2>> cups long grain rice (use basmati or fragrant rice if you have them) and treat as follows.

To microwave: measure the rice into a large microwave bowl, add 3 cups of boiling water and 1/2>> teaspoon salt (optional) then cover tightly and microwave for 15-17 minutes on medium (50 percent) power.

To boil: bring 10 cups of water plus 2 teaspoons salt to a rapid boil, sprinkle in the rice and boil uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until rice is tender then drain well.

Enjoy you meal!

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